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Easy Pav Bhaji

Easy Pav Bhaji

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I have been meaning to try a Pav Bhaji Recipe for a long time. What put me off is the long drawn out recipes because you know how much I hate complicated. But this is an Easy Pav Bhaji Recipe, I promise.

Easy Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is a combo dish of Pav, which means bread and Bhaji meaning curried vegetables. It is the King of Indian street food but I am turning it into a weeknight dinner.

Let’s just say I have simplified this recipe as much as I could and I think it tastes amazing.  I also tried to stick to ingredients I already had in my pantry.

There are a few steps involved but it isn’t enough to make you hate cooking. If you want it even less complicated you can use store bought bread rolls.

I had time on my hands so I quickly made a batch of my famous dinner rolls which worked perfectly for this dish. I adapted this recipe from the blog

How to make Pav Bhaji

Firstly you do need some Pav Bhaji masala.  I haven’t seen it in the stores near me and I don’t think it’s as easily accessible here in SA. 

Unless of course you have loads of spice shops around you. However, it is not all that difficult to quickly roast some spices and use it for the dish.

I know when you look at the list of ingredients you probably will get a fright but it is not as complicated as I thought it was. The potatoes are boiled until soft.

You then cook a curry sauce as usual and add your veggies and allow it to cook.  The veggies are then mashed up because it is a dish that consists of mashed veggies.

As I said earlier you can use store bought bread rolls, these are then toasted. You add a dollop, or should I say more than a dollop, of butter into the bhaji.

It is then served with the toasted bread rolls on the side with some crunchy onion and chopped coriander. Drizzle some lime juice and you’re in Pav Bhaji heaven.

For us personally we are not accustomed to eating a whole load of spice in our food. Yes, we love spicy but even then there is a limit as to how much spice is acceptable.

You will see from my recipe I have reduced the spice considerably. However, you can add more spice to your dish should you wish.

There was some remaining spice and I will store that for the next time I make this Pav Bhaji. This dish is also supposed to be a deep red colour, if you wish you can add some tomato paste to achieve this.

Serving the Pav Bhaji

This is one of those dishes that requires a little extra butter. But here again please use your discretion. Although I am suggesting a certain amount of butter feel free to leave it out or use it all.

If you are feeling indulgent and not eating this all the time it’s ok to add the extra butter. I must admit I did not end up using all the butter because I was being cautious. 

Although I must admit butter does make everything better. The one piece I did have with the extra butter was definitely better than the one without the butter. Just saying…don’t listen to me though!

Ingredient required for Pav Bhaji

I used onion, tomato passata, potatoes, pepper, cauliflower, peas and spices. 

Please bare in mind that I have never been to India so I have not tasted the authentic version of this dish. I simply went with flavors that work for me so feel free to adjust according to your taste.

I hope you enjoy this delicious street food. If you do try the recipe please drop me a comment and a star rating.

More Vegetarian Recipes to try:

Easy Green Bean Curry

Gadra Barlotti Bean Curry

Easy Pumpkin curry


Easy Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is the ultimate Indian street food and it is super tasty
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword easy pav bhaji, iindian curry, indian street food, pav bhaji
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 4


Pav Bhaji Masala

  • 3 dry chilli
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 5cm cinnamon stick


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 + 2 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup tomato passata/puree
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 green bell pepper cut into small cubes
  • 3 medium potatoes boiled
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt
  • sugar (optional)

For Serving

  • bread rolls
  • 1 red onion diced
  • coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 lime


Pav Bhaji Masala

  • Roast all the spices for the Pav Bhaji Masala on low heat until fragrant. Allow it to cool and roast in a grinder or mortar and pestle. Set aside


  • Add 3 cups of water together with the cubed potatoes in a pot and cook. Add the cauliflower to the potatoes in the last 10 minutes and allow it to cook until soft and tender. Drain any excess water and set aside
  • Heat the butter and oil in a pot. Add the onion and green pepper and fry until onion is golden brown. Add the ginger/garlic paste and cook for a minute
  • Add the 2 tsp pav bhaji masala, kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and deglaze the pot
  • Add the tomato passata and the peas. Season with salt and add some sugar if too acidic. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes
  • Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Use a potato masher and mash all the vegetables. Add 2 tablespoon butter, another 2 tsp pav bhaji masala and the garam masala. Garnish with coriander
  • Serve hot with toasted buns, chopped onion and a drizzle of lime juice


  1. If you don't have passata/tomato puree you can use about 4 roma tomatoes. Remove the skin and puree them before cooking
  2. You don't have to use all the butter recommended, if you wish you can leave out the butter or add just a little or add more. Whatever you prefer
  3. To toast the buns. Cut them in halves, spread a thin layer of butter on each side and toast on medium to high heat until golden brown and crisp
  4. You can also drizzle lemon juice instead of lime if you prefer or leave them out altogether



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